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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : January 2013


Triangles On Triangles

Top: Sprightly So (new!). Skirt: Sprightly So (new!). Necklace: Sprightly So. Boots: MIA.

If you couldn't tell, we've some pretty spectacular new arrivals in the store. If you are wanting to get into the whole geometric print thing, this sweatshirt and necklace together are triangle perfection (you might say I have a thing for layering identical prints). 

Most of the new arrivals are maxi skirts. You know, the uber comfy kind that feel like pajamas but look minimal and sleek. This little number I am wearing practically is a pajama set. The tribal sweatshirt is lightweight, soft and sliiimmming. Forget the juicing, just wear this sweatshirt!

If red ain't your thang, there is a black and white striped skirt, a mint striped one, and a polka dot (of course) one. Translation: it's a maxi skirt paradise. 

P.S. If you want one of these skirts for free, come enter the giveaway here!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

 Dress: Vintage. Tights: Target. Platforms: c/o Jellypop. Bow: Handmade.

1) For months I've been staring at this side swept, French girl-esque hairdo I ripped from the pages of my Lucky magazine and pinned (literally) to my idea board at my desk. Then I about died of a cuteness overload when I saw this hairstyle. The opportunity to try a new hair doozie is one that should not be missed, and I am all for the front hair clip. It's a sweet, retro look. A girl can never have too many hairstyles, right? Maybe I will even share a DIY post on how to make big, fat, awesome hair bows so I can do this hair style next.

2) Fact: "The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Or any other encyclopedia for that matter. Scientists have yet to settle on a definitive amount, but the storage capacity of the brain in electronic terms is thought to be between 3 or even 1,000 terabytes" (source). That's a whole lotta information and I suddenly feel inspired to up my book reading quota.

3) We've been teaching Luke some basic sign language so he can communicate to us when he is hungry or thirsty. We mostly use the "more" sign and I love the way his little tiny baby fingers hit together when he says it. Babies signing is up there on the cuteness overload chart. Do you teach your kiddos to sign? What are your opinions?

4) For the record, Skinny Cow fudge bars are the best.

5) Would you rather be able to speak Klingon or Elvish (assuming you don't know either... if you know them, I envy and praise you)?

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Hello, twenty-five. You look shiny and new and there is something extra jazzy about you. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I just know you bring many happy times ahead.

Looking back on my year as a 24-year old, it got a little dicey here and there. I don't know what it is about my years with the number four in them (should I be preparing for a midlife crisis at 44? Probably!). They seem to be a refining milestone in my life. Kind of like a snake shedding its skin. That's how I imagine it in my mind, anyhow. 

Life at 24 was remarkable, don't get me wrong, especially since it was my first year as a mother. I suppose that's why it felt unnerving, questionable, and delightful all in one mangled wrapper. Insecurities surfaced to an uncomfortable level. I went to war with myself for the better half of a year, fighting my way to serenity at the end. It's funny how your biggest enemy is often times your very own self. I guess that whole learning to love who you are mumbo-jumbo and accepting your life for what it is, including past, present and future, really is true.

It was a year of reexamining my honest to goodness beliefs. You know, that stuff you just feel to be true at the core of your heart and the rattling reminder of it in your bones when you try to shrug it off, or when someone important disagrees with you. Feeling like you are letting someone down whom you highly admire is the worst, but feeding yourself untruths is even more toxic. My faith was tested... to say the least. Life as I know it rested on finding the truth for which I desperately searched. I suppose life is a constant search for truth though, right? What is "truth" anyway? People who say they have it all figured out are a bunch of dirty liars, and cannot be trusted (there goes that irony popping its way into my life again).

As much as I like fluffy, frilly things and talking about the color pink, my life isn't always so cheerful and I don't want it to be. That's the silly thing about blogs. While I do believe blogs are a place to promote the lovely and creative aspects of life, I think it's healthy and refreshing to display the parts in disarray every once in awhile. We blogging folk can all try to fool readers into thinking life is perfect based on the projections we display through posts and pictures, but I am here to tell you that I do not have a perfect life, and hereby solemnly swear to promote the truth more often. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel their life is inadequate or not crafty and fulfilled enough because of putting only the best of my existence out there. I know the feeling of social media making one hate the world and all the hip people accompanied with it, so we are going to attempt to meet a happy middle ground of pretty and realistic things here.

Year 24 was a year of forgiveness and soul-searching, and year 25 is going to be one of reinventing, honesty, and reality. So without further ado, I would like to start off this year of truths with admitting that I desperately look forward to Luke's bedtime every night. I am exhausted and need to hear myself think once 7 pm rolls around, and being childless is a wonderful place for me where I selfishly indulge in whatever I please for those few brief, glorious hours. My best friend and I were talking about this very subject, and since we are being skin-baring honest here on this space now, I just can't fathom how some mamas seemingly love and adore their children 24/7 and don't want to throw their kiddos in bed. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am missing some innate mothering portion of my brain that allows me to feel insurmountable affection (but then again, this is also a year of coming to terms with the not so pretty parts of my life that I finally revealed needed some sprucing up) or if I am just admitting what others are afraid to say? Am I the only one that breathes a victorious sigh of relief (I kept a human alive another day!) each night I put my screaming toddler away out of my hair (literally)? It doesn't mean I don't love that little Nugget. I'm over the moon nuts about him, but I am a better mother when I take time for myself. I am a creature of solace, and always have, always will need plentiful amounts of personal space and time.

Well, there is my truth I was afraid to say out loud, but alas, I did it! And I'm still alive! And better for it! What are some things that scare you to talk about? Give me topics and let's hash it out! Let's talk about life, gosh-dagnabbit!

To end my rambling, I'd like to raise my glass to a beautiful 25th year. I am incredibly excited for all the things in store for my life this year, both personally and professionally, and just have a gut feeling this is my year.

I would like to leave you with a fun little birthday film we made of our weekend with my awesome birthday present. Yes, that means I finally joined the world in getting a smartphone, which means I finally have Instagram (since you all were just dying to follow along with more pictures of my life, right? ;) Oh, and it just happens to be a happy coincidence that I got my phone at the same time Vine completely blew up all over the app/blogging world. Needless to say, I would love for you to follow me @alongabbeyroad on both of them! 

Thanks again for coming back every day to read about my life and build friendships with me. I sure do love you guys! Happy Monday!

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Dare I DIY?: Valentine's Goody Bags

I'm convinced Valentine's Day is the best holiday for crafts. Any excuse to get my hands on an excessive amount of pink and hearts I will take! 

Valentine's Day is also the best for giving little trinkets and gifts, and these Valentine's goody bags are the perfect package for your loot! I saw this version of them on Pinterest, and absolutely had to get all sassy and crafty and create my own (oh, and don't mind the typos on bag five and six... I was in a hurry and it's too much work to go back and fix it now... that means I'm just lazy, but I know you will forgive me).

The muslin bags, heart stamp, banner stamp, and ink pads I bought from Paper Source, and the paint and stencil materials I purchased from Michaels.

Pick your favorite cutouts, stencils, and stamps, along with the yummiest candies to stuff these guys to the brim and you are set! Enjoy!

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A Picture An Hour

6 AM: The sunrise from our balcony
7 AM: Breakfast time, including my daily morning cup of raspberry leaf tea
8 AM: Getting ready for the day. We are getting oh so talented at brushing our teeth and making faces
9 AM: Naptime equals filling orders for the store and catching up on work
10 AM: Playtime includes gazing out the window, dreaming of a bright future as a Nobel-winning physicist
11 AM: Nugget's lunch
12 PM: Running errands
1 PM: Stocking up on produce at the local farmer's market
2 PM: Naptime, again
3 PM: More work updating the shop
4 PM: Relaxing and putting our feet up (with a side of double chin)
5 PM: The sunset from our balcony
6 PM: Matt making dinner (I cashed in on the whole husband making dinner thing)
7 PM: Bathtime
8 PM: Winding down for the night, which includes burning my favorite candle to make my senses happy

* This post was inspired by a blog post I read from the Sandra Juto blog about a year or so ago. Gotta give credit where credit's due!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Sweater: LOFT (on sale!) Pants: LOFT (on sale!) Necklace: Gift (similar). Shoes: Boutique (similar). Watch: Fossil.

1) It was 75 degrees yesterday and I was indeed sweating in my sweater. If you think about it, sweater is a hideous name. It's really quite gross. Maybe we should just call it a jumper like the Brits do.

2) Fact: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never had the chance to call his wife or mother because they were both deaf (source).

3) What are some good herbal teas I should try? Lately I'm stuck on raspberry leaf (great for keeping the female running smoothly!) for breakfast and chamomile for bed, but I need to branch out. Gimme your suggestions!

4) Remember this song?

5) Would you rather sky dive or bungee jump?

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Bright Prints

Bright, bold prints are having a big moment over here. Especially at Sprightly So. We are in the midst of gearing up for spring and putting together looks and pieces that will have you spinning with delight. Keep your eyes peeled for new home items and those textiles that will be making their way into the store!

And could that possibly be pink tulle? Be still, my pink-loving, girly heart.

P.S. All handbags are 15% off right now! Use code 'LOVE13' at checkout to snag your discount. Also, thanks for all of your support with the relaunch of Sprightly So! It's started off with a bang and I couldn't be more thrilled. I am so excited to watch it grow and sprout into something grand and beautiful! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Mwah!

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Happy Dots

Top: Gap. Pants: LOFT. Scarf: LOFT.

Those little polka dots are slowly popping up all over my closet. If I'm not careful I'll be wearing dots on dots on dots! On dots! Just how many polka dotted pieces are appropriate in one outfit? I think the answer is infinite. You see, polka dots are the friend that always smiles and says cheery things in the world of patterns and textiles. The one you can always count on to brighten your day and bring you a pint of Ben & Jerry's when the going isn't going. Mix those perky dots with some cotton-fluffy blond hair and arm rolls and you've hit the happiness jackpot.

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Do You Feel That Buzz?

I read a lot of blogs. Like, a loooot.  My Google Reader is practically overflowing, all of various genres and sorts, but all curated and written by talented people.

One common theme I'm seeing from these little pockets of the interwebs is a revitalized, buzzy excitement to create renewed content for the year, an effort to blog about the things they truly love, think, and feel. No matter the reaction, loss of followers, or fear of the ramblings of irrelevant internet trolls. It's like this energy you can almost feel coming through the screen. Honesty and transparency is increasing and a sense of fellowship is evolving. I am so excited for blogging this year! 

I always wonder who reads what blogs and am always looking for awesome new blogs to follow. That being said, I want to share with you some of the blogs I read (I would be linking for days if I put the whole list down!). Some are crazy blog-famous and I am positively sure you know who they are and read them yourself, but some are less well known, yet totally worth adding to your readers.

Like I said, that is not all, but will have to suffice for today. My eyes hurt from all of the linking. I will be sure to post more of my favorite blogs soon! 

What are your must-read blogs? If you have your own blog, leave your blog link in the comments so we can check your stuff out! Here is to a beautiful blogging year, my friends!

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Warm Weather, Where Art Thou?

Let It Be Spring

The sun is shining, so why not get a cardigan to match it? I know, I know, it's only January. But, neutrals and itchy wool only hold their appeal so long before one starts to ooo and aww for corals, shades of navy and florals (which would account for the blog redesign, too). And let's not forget the silky smooth feeling of rubbing your lips with rosebud salve to give those puckers that beautiful sun-kissed look! Ahhh, I can just feel the tiny freckles darkening on my nose and my skin turning golden.

Are you excited for spring?!